News In Brief

Yugoslav president slobodan milosevic and visiting Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov ended six hours of discussions on Kosovo, with the latter claiming progress had been made in bringing the crisis to an early end. Primakov said Milosevic would agree to reducing his forces in Kosovo and allowing ethnic Albanian refugees to return in exchange for "six conditions," which had yet to be specified as the Monitor went to press. Milosevic was expected to issue his own statement on national TV later in the day.

A "harsher than expected" February pushed the number of unemployed Japanese to 3.13 million - the most in history. The government's announcement came as hordes of young people graduate from high school and begin their search for jobs. Analysts said the report was more bad news for Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's government, which is pumping billions of dollars into the flagging economy in an all-out campaign to prod consumers to spend.

In a ceremony tomorrow, the 33-year link between the armed forces and police in Indonesia is scheduled to end - a move long sought by advocates of democratic reform. The two were joined in 1966 on grounds that they had the same duty to protect the sprawling and ethnically diverse country from foreign aggression. But critics say the police quickly became combative and repressive in their tactics and warn that it may take years to reverse those attitudes.

More than 100 immigrants were quickly rounded up off the streets of Hong Kong following a court ruling that they must return to mainland China while their applications for permanent residence are pending. Officials said 1,200 others also face deportation due to expired visas. The issue is ultrasensitive in relations with the government in Beijing because of an earlier ruling that anyone with at least one Hong Kong parent has the right to live in the affluent territory. That could affect hundreds of thousands of mainland Chinese, overwhelming Hong Kong's health, education, and welfare systems.

Despite a declaration by the government that he was immune from arres, former Paraguayan President Raul Cubas and his family flew to political asylum in neighboring Brazil. Cubas was being tried in Paraguay's Senate on impeachment charges and appeared likely to lose his office when he suddenly resigned Sunday. He was preceded into exile by his mentor, ex-Army chief Lino Oveido, who was granted asylum in Argentina. Both are suspected of involvement in last week's assassination of Vice President and political rival Luis Maria Argana.

More aftershocks were predicted for the lower Himalayan region after Monday's earthquake that killed at least 110 people and left hundreds of others injured. Hardest-hit was the town of Chamoli, India, 185 miles north of New Delhi. But cracked buildings and other damage were reported in the capital as well. Experts warned of the potential for massive landslides from loosened rocks and topsoil once the monsoon season arrives.

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